There’s an interesting trend emerging at corporations around Europe. Organizations like Michelin, Airbus, and the Belgian Ministry of Social Security are trying their hands at “corporate liberation,” or the idea that power should be taken away from managers and workers should be free to do what they want to do.
The idea of the “flat organization” is by no means brand new. But if your organization is thinking about restructuring, corporate liberation is something you should definitely consider.
For starters, when you have too many managers in your organization, productivity can grind to a halt. Not only will micromanagers drain your staff’s energy, it becomes that much more difficult to move new ideas or initiatives forward because there’s so much red tape to go through. So even when you’ve come up with a game-changing strategy that makes sense to implement right this second, you might have to wait weeks or even months for the appropriate channels to sign off on it.
The flatter your organization becomes, the easier it is to make decisions and implement them quickly.
Instead of expecting your employees to follow strict schedules and work from specific locations every single day, you may find out that giving them the flexibility to work when and where they want pays hefty divisions. As long as your employees are doing their jobs well, not missing any deadlines, and keeping their appointments, does it really matter when and where they tackle their job responsibilities?
Consider the following:
Some managers are understandably concerned that it would be hard to track employee productivity and make sure everyone’s getting their work done if employees were granted the ability to work remotely and make their own schedules. But that’s a simple problem to solve. To increase accountability, use a collaboration platform that enables you to shoot your workers quick messages or hop on video calls. As an added bonus, these platforms allow workers to communicate with each other in real time, which should help move projects forward faster. You can also schedule standing meetings to keep tabs on team progress.
This is not to say that if you choose to try corporate liberation, you can run your organization without any rules. In order for corporate liberation to work, there needs to be some sort of structure and job expectations need to be very clear. Create a strong culture and hire for culture fit and you should be able to make it work.
Is corporate liberation the key to employee engagement? Put yourself in your workers’ shoes. Imagine working for a company where you didn’t have to answer to six bosses and you could get your work done at the times and locations that were most convenient to your schedule.
Doesn’t sound like such a bad place to work, does it?